- FTSE 100 loses traction as China proposes new security laws on Hong Kong.
- Prudential posts a 9.3% decline and HSBC hits a record low in over a decade.
- A 102.7% gain in Marston's pushed the mid-cap FTSE 250 0.1% up on Friday.
The U.K.’s blue-chip FTSE 100 index remained downbeat on Friday as China proposed new security laws to be imposed on Hong Kong that weighed on Asia-focused banks and added to the already complicating trade tensions between the United States and China.
As per research analyst Ian Williams of Peel Hunt:
“Investors may have been more focused on the continued unhelpful dialogue between the U.S. and China, hence they chose to trim some risk exposure.”
FTSE 100 slides 0.4% on Friday
A 0.4% decline in the FTSE 100 index saw a significant contribution from Prudential (LON: PRU) that tanked 9.3% on Friday. HSBC was also reported to have posted a record-low in over a decade. Asia’s financial hub, as per experts, is again at a risk of seeing pro-democracy protests following China’s announcement this morning.
The mid-cap FTSE 250 index, on the other hand, printed a marginal 0.1% gain on Friday based mainly on an unprecedented 102.7% gain in Marston’s as the pub operator expressed plans of merging its brewing business with the U.K. arm of the Danish brewer, Carlsberg.
On the weekly chart, however, both indices were reported upbeat with the FTSE 100 index having noted a more than 3% gain, while the domestically focused, FTSE 250 index printing an even broader 4.5% gain. Learn more about the different stock exchanges and stock indices.
Compared to the year to date low, the blue-chip index is currently about 20% up while the mid-cap index has recovered roughly 25%.
Other prominent price actions on Friday
Other prominent price actions on Friday include a 10.6% decline in Go-Ahead Group (LON: GOG) as the transport operator warned that its full-year profit will take a significant hit due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Burberry also advanced 3.3% in the stock market on Friday on the optimism of its CEO that business is showing strong signs of recovery in multiple parts of Asia. Burberry, however, also said that its comparable sales plunged 27% in the fourth quarter.
A 3% decline in EasyJet and a broader 7% decline in IAG also made the headline on Friday as the United Kingdom braced for a Coronavirus quarantine for overseas travellers arriving in Britain from 8th June.
Friday’s data also highlighted historically the sharpest slump in British retail sales in April. Consumer confidence in the U.K., as per the data, sunk to a level last seen during the market crash of 2008-09 in early May.